Kentucky is among seven states that will participate in a two-year pilot program to improve teacher training programs and help the state’s higher education system better align with reforms at the K-12 level.
It’s not just a conversation happening in Kentucky.
Nationwide, educators, policy experts and lawmakers are emphasizing the need to better prepare teachers at the college and university level.
Now, the Network for Transforming Educator Preparation program—an initiative of the Council of Chief State School Officers—will help participating states reform the systems that guide what an educator should look like.
“This helps to support a lot of the initiatives that are underway in Kentucky and ensuring that the educators coming from our preparation programs are school ready and learner ready, that they can guide our students to college and career readiness,” says Robert Brown, executive director of Kentucky’s Education Professional Standards Board.
The CCSSO has laid out recommendations for states to use to rewire the systems in place that currently oversee teacher preparation programming, while the network will allow Kentucky to develop new initiatives based on best practices.
“You have to look beyond your borders,” Brown says. “Even though we know we’re on the right track and we’re doing well, are there practices that will inform our work that will make us even better?”
According to Brown and others, Kentucky has already begun to improve how it prepares teachers, but the program will continue to help the state align to recent education reforms. Brown says the program will also create stronger partnerships among the various education agencies and departments in the state.
“We still have issues with gaps in this state—achievement and opportunities in gaps. We have a need to increase differentiated learning. We have a need to take our gifted kids and make them more gifted,” says Aaron Thompson with Kentucky’s Council on Postsecondary Education.
The other states are Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Massachusetts and Washington.
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